Read Aloud Delaware (RAD) is a local grassroots volunteer-driven organization that assists children in learning how to read during the early years of child development. Standing on the principle that the most important activity for building knowledge for success in reading is reading aloud to children, RAD helps children develop proper language skills through speech patterns, pronunciation, vocabulary, listening skills and comprehension.
Milford resident Anne Gorrin has been with the organization since 1996 when her youngest daughter Emily started first grade. Coordinating all of the Sussex County Read Aloud volunteers, including all of Milford, Ann advocates to parents the importance of reading aloud to children from birth.
“We advocate to parents that they read to there children at birth and even before they are born,” commented Ann, Sussex County Coordinator for Read Aloud Delaware. “At birth, we know from medical research, that babies have the ability to receive and process language and that the first several years are critical to development.”
Read Aloud Delaware offers 32 locations in Sussex County and over 100 locations throughout the state of Delaware. Working with child development centers, RAD volunteers read to children one-to-one creating an environment that strengthens a child’s ability to read and increases the development of social interaction. Read Aloud Delaware also provides programs for parents that offer information about the importance of reading and supplies parents with resources to help increase exposure of reading at home.
With a focus on low-income households Read Aloud Delaware stresses the importance that reading has on the future success of a child. According to RAD, at 36 months old a child in a low-income family has a vocabulary of about 425 words. A child in a higher income family knows about 1100 words. The gap continues to increase as children grow older.
Volunteers of RAD find the experience of reading aloud to children rewarding and life-changing.
“I have been a Read-Aloud Volunteer for about two years now and I can tell you it is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” commented Rosemary Connelly, local volunteer at the Head Start child facility. “I love doing it and the children love it so much, it’s a joy to walk into the classroom and see their faces light up with anticipation.”
Ann Gorrin, Sussex County Coordinator at RAD, urges individuals to volunteer their time to make a difference in the life of a local child through the Read Aloud Delaware Program. Strong basic reading skills decrease the likelihood of that child dropping out of school, being unemployment and their future dependence on public assistance.
“Reading to a child is the single most effective way to get a child to have success in reading,” commented Ann Gorrin.
Individuals looking to volunteer for the Read Aloud Delaware program can contact Ann Gorrin, Sussex County Coordinator for RAD,at 302-856-2527 or visit their website at www.readalouddelaware.org for more information.